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Eleanor Hardy, Guardian Angel of Luxury Travelers, Named to Prestigious Travel + Leisure A-List

By Owen C. Hardy

We are pleased to announce that Travel + Leisure magazine has named Eleanor Hardy to its prestigious A-List of the best travel specialists in the world. Mrs. Hardy is President & Co-Owner of the Society of International Railway Travelers®.

“Eleanor is matchless arranging a customized trip,” says IRT guest Diane Glynn. For example, Ms. Glynn badly wanted to see China. But she had physical limitations.

Result? “When I needed a wheelchair, I had one…” with a private guide and private wheelchair pusher, thanks to Eleanor. Now, a custom journey to Japan awaits. Another is in the works to Peru.

Dr. Paul Jacobs, of Virginia, also appreciates Eleanor.

What sold him?

“Her attention to detail,” he says.

Describe in one word why we chose Eleanor in trip planning?

“I have two: Exceptional. Impressive,” says his wife, Dr. Fredericka Jacobs.

The Jacobs’ first booking with Eleanor was the Venice Simplon-Orient-Express’ annual Paris-Istanbul extravaganza. After that came Egypt, then another trip to Turkey.

Later this year, Ireland will get the Eleanor treatment.

She immediately knew some great places to stay. We had little time to plan, and I certainly didn’t want to be driving on the left side of the road. She’s terrific.”

Eleanor began working for The Society of International Railway Travelers in 1987. While her specialty is international luxury trains, she also curates custom travel for a select group of clients.

Some want unique luxury experiences before and after a luxury rail trip. Some book all their luxury travel with Eleanor, whether or not a train is involved.

“Any request, any need, is consistently handled— readily and professionally,” says Ms. Glynn.

Eleanor’s been doing this for years.

Just ask longtime client Ron Fisher, of Washington, DC.

“For the last dozen years or so I’ve averaged one trip a year booked by Eleanor, he says.

Each trip was perfectly planned, organized and executed. Eleanor steers travelers to the best of the best and the coolest of the cool.

“And her expertise doesn’t end there,” says Mr. Fisher.

“From anywhere in the world if a problem arises—from a cancelled flight to a broken leg—Eleanor is a phone call away and ready with a solution.

“It’s like traveling with a guardian angel perched on your shoulder, eager to smooth any bump that appears in the road.”

“There is probably not another person on the planet who is as knowledgeable about luxury international railway travel as she is,” says Dr. Bob Joscelyn, travel and tourism consultant. “When you combine that depth of knowledge, the extensive personal relationships she has with the companies in the business, and her commitment to her clients, she is the complete advisor.”

“I can honestly admit I may have learned as much from her as she has from me.”

And, in the parting words of Mrs. Jacobs, “Her attention to detail allows us to direct our energies toward the raison d’etre of travel: seeing the new and experiencing the different.”

Discover your own raison d’etre of travel. Contact IRT today at and learn more about our process for elevating your travel — from dreams to reality!